Child sex offenders in Alabama will be chemically castrated with the same drug used by individuals transitioning from male to female.
The legislation in Alabama specifies that chemical castration against offenders who have committed acts against children under 13 years old will consist of “the receiving of medication, including, but not limited to, medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment.”
The drug will be prescribed to sexual offenders to decrease their libido in an effort to prevent future crimes, according to the Atlantic. Offenders will be required to take the drug as part of their parole.
Alabama governor signs into law a bill that requires someone convicted of a sex offence with a person under age 13 to begin chemical castration a month before being released from custody https://t.co/i7hTflUJt1 pic.twitter.com/rEQAvHS936
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 11, 2019
The Daily Caller asked Dr. Paul Hruz, Associate Professor at Washington University School of Medicine, to explain how medroxyprogesterone acetate works in chemical castration.
“The long-acting injectable form (Depo-Provera) is used as a chemical castrating drug because it can reduce testosterone levels in men,” he said.
Medroxyprogesterone acetate is also used by individuals who are making a transgender medical transition because the drug can “reduce the undesired virilizing effects of testosterone (e.g. facial hair and muscle mass),” Dr. Hruz told the Caller.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, told the Daily Caller that common anti-androgens used in chemical castration include “medroxyprogesterone acetate, Lupron, and estrogen.” She explained that all of these drugs are also used for “transgendering.”
Dr. Cretella said that medroxyprogesterone acetate has the same result whether it is used for chemical castration or medical transition.
“Medroxyprogesterone acetate will decrease/blunt the effects of testosterone in all men. So whether given to male sex offenders or ‘Joe on the street’ — it will reduce male sex drive, decrease muscle mass slightly, may decrease aggression and may enlarge breasts slightly,” she said.
According to the National LGBT Health Education Center, “Some studies have reported decreased sexual arousal for transgender women on hormone therapy.”
Dr. Cretella explained that to her knowledge, chemical castration has never been performed on female offenders. She added that “in theory,” medroxyprogesterone acetate could be prescribed to women for chemical castration because “it often does decrease libido as a side effect because even in women testosterone levels contribute to sex drive.”
Many have speculated the Alabama law that requires offenders to take testosterone-blocking drugs could be deemed cruel and unusual punishment. For example, the ACLU of Alabama believes the law is likely contrary to the eighth amendment. (RELATED: Chemical Castration Becomes Law For Certain Sex Offenders In Alabama)
Professor of Law at the University of Florida John Stinneford believes the same thing: “Because chemical castration is designed both to shackle the mind and cripple the body of sex offenders, it is doubly cruel and should be struck down as a violation of the Eighth Amendment,” the Atlantic reported.
Similar chemical castration laws for sexual offenders of children exist in Montana, Louisiana, Florida and Oregon.